When Fandom Goes Too Far
Fan (from “fanatic”): 1520s– “Insane person,” from the Latin fanaticus meaning “mad, enthusiastic, inspired by a god,” also “furious.”
Looking at the etymology for “fan,” it might come as a surprising reminder that the term literally means crazy, which would explain the words and actions of so many individual fans and collective fan bases we are so familiar with today. Even more surprisingly, it isn’t just music and sports but also niche communities that suffer from what’s often the vocal minority giving the rest of the fan base a bad name.
The image of the over-the-top fan is a popular one in news and media today. In fact, in our world of social media celebs and internet stardom, some of the wildest fandoms exist completely online. Body paint, angry forums, ridiculous costumes, lengthy Tumblrs, extensive rhymes and chants, and countless traditions mark the most dedicated followers as a league of their own, separating the lifelong supporters from the fair weather fans.
But are some of these fan groups perhaps a little too much?
Redditors were asked to talk about the fan bases that have lost touch with reality and even gotten out of hand with their fanaticism, and their responses go so much further than your average football or K-Pop fans. Be warned, some of them even border on disturbing.